Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 58.
It’s normal to sometimes feel that it’s taking too long to just tap on only one memory, especially when you know there are so many other memories you could be working on. Sometimes as you are working on this one memory, and reassessing after each tapping round, you notice there’s “yet another aspect (within this memory) that needs to be tapped on”. I’d like to reassure you that, thanks to what is known in EFT as “The Generalization Effect”, this is actually a good thing.
But first of all, what do I mean by “aspects within the memory”? I mean the different details that might have an emotional charge. They might be sensory details (something you saw, heard or felt), such as “remembering the other person’s facial expression, tone of voice, or an actual phrase they said” or even certain thoughts as well. These are all “triggers”, in the sense that each of these “aspects” activate an unpleasant emotional charge when you place your attention on them. And this unpleasant emotional charge is what the tapping can help you diminish and release, so that your nervous system no longer feels threatened by them.
So, the “Generalization Effect” in EFT means that, when you thoroughly address each of these aspects within one memory, to the point that they stop having any emotional charge, you’ll notice a similar sense of relief in other memories as well. This is because many of those sensory details or aspects appear in many different memories and future situations. So, you won’t need to tap on them (or at least, you won’t need to tap on them as much) when you then begin to address these other memories and situations.
And this is really good news because, if not for the Generalization Effect, we would hardly experience any significant progress or relief, because we all have so many memories, situations and “events” we could work on.
So, for example, let’s say that you are tapping on the recent memory of a stressful time you had while driving your car. One of the aspects you are tapping on has to do with the anxiousness you feel when remembering the other driver’s impatience at you, as they were honking at you while you were trying to park your car. Chances are that the trigger of someone else being impatient at you is going to show up in other areas of your life.
Therefore, as you diminish and release that trigger as it pertains to this particular recent memory of parking your car, you might then notice that you feel less anxious when you are at work and one of your coworkers is getting impatient at you.
This is why I say that if you notice that a memory you are working on has many, many aspects, take heart knowing that this means there’s a higher chance that whatever relief you get to experience with this memory is going to “generalize over” other memories and areas of your life as well.
We can never anticipate exactly when the Generalization Effect will take place, and to what degree, but we can trust that the more we apply EFT on the different aspects and triggers within one or more memories, the more likelihood that it’s going to take place, and we’ll get to enjoy that progress and relief in more than one area of our lives.
And, as I usually say, if you suspect that a memory might be too emotionally intense and/or traumatic to work on your own, feel free to enlist the aid of a certified practitioner with a mental health background, such as myself, to help you with that. The same applies if you feel like it might be too hard to keep track of all the different memories and aspects at play. Feel free to get in touch with me, even if only to ask me for some free advice or guidance on how to tap on something by yourself.
That’s it for today. I hope this article was helpful. My name is Bruno Sade, and I’m a certified EFT practitioner with a mental health background as a clinical psychologist licensed in Argentina. I use EFT as a tool to help people (who speak English or Spanish) change their negative emotional reactions and triggers.
And, I’d love to know: Have you ever experienced “The Generalization Effect”? Do you have any questions or comments about what I wrote? Is there any particular topic you’d like me to write about? I’d love to know in the comments below.